Pointing Out Way-Level 1

with John Churchill

August 12-19, 2017

The pointing out style is an ancient way of teaching meditation that is firmly grounded in the teacher-student relationship. In the early essence traditions of Indo-Tibetan Buddhism, like the Great Seal (phyags chen; Mahamudra) and the Great Perfection (dzogs chen) meditation traditions, students were literally sung into awakening by their teachers using pithy poem-songs called dohas. The Tibetan word, ngo sprod pa means “to point out” or “to introduce.” The student describes meditation experience in sufficient detail while the teacher carefully monitors the student’s meditation progress. The teacher offers of detailed explanation of the typical meditation experiences, way to practice, and common problems that arise at each stage of meditation practice. When the student has developed the practice so as to make the mind ‘fit’ the teacher points out the real nature of the mind and the protected practices that enable the student to awaken to the mind’s real nature.

Teacher Bio

Born in London, England, John Churchill's interest in meditative and contemplative studies began as a teenager. After leaving high school, he joined Samye Ling Kagyu Monastery in Scotland where he began his studies in the Mahayana and Mahamudra. He came to the United States to study at Naropa, a Buddhist University where he majored in Contemplative Psychology with a specialization in mind/body health. During his time at Naropa, he studied with American philosopher, Ken Wilber, and was a founding member of Integral Institute. John received his Master's degree from New England School of Acupuncture and is currently in private practice specializing in psychosomatic acupuncture. John is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology at William James College.

Additionally, John has been a practitioner of meditation and hatha yoga for over 20 years and has taught embodied yoga and meditation for the last decade. He co-founded, with his wife Nicole, Samadhi Integral, a center built on philosophical principles that embrace the cutting edge of contemporary culture and the deep wisdom of humanity. Samadhi is part of a worldwide network that spans traditions with a collective commitment to the spiritual evolution of humanity.

John has been a Mahamudra student of Dr. Daniel Brown since 2005, and began to study Dzogchen with the Venerable Rahob Rinpoche in 2007. John's mentoring relationship with Dr. Brown led to his authorization as a teacher of Pointing Out Way Mahamudra in 2012, and he continues to work closely with Dr. Brown. He is deeply interested in the relationship between psychological and contemplative development, the emergence of an awakened sangha, and use of technology to support the teaching of the dharma. Through his work, John assists students in developing a new path into the future which embraces the preciousness of human birth, physical embodiment, the earth, our relationships with others, and ultimately guiding them towards living a fully awakened life.

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